RickJay, what's your deal with Tori Amos?

In this post you once again state the opinion that Tori Amos’ image is “fake”. This is not a pitting (hence the MPSIMS forum), but I have to ask why you say this.

Are there others who feel this way (preferably online somewhere)? Do you have anything to back this up with other than your own opinons? I am curious as to how this has come about. I have never heard anyone say this outside this board.

I’m just curious. I have no beef with you.

I agree with the referenced post, at least as far as Tori Amos goes. There’s very much an air of “Look how spiritual and alternative and strong yet female I am. Therefore you should buy my music.” about her.

I do find a lot of her hardcore fans to be a bit disturbing. Almost like a religious cult.

I’m gonna give this a bump.

I don’t think she is a fake, but I do think she is a nutjob.
I like the music though.

Show me a successful (read: popular) artist these days that isn’t handled, produced, packaged and sold in a neat shrink to fit wrapper. Why would Tory be the exception?

And anyway, an image serves a purpose. It helps the audience identify with their fellow devotees. Even the greatful dead, despite all their reluctance to “sell out” became a symbol and rallying cry among their fans - just look for the car stickers.

It’s no so much a question of her “selling out” so much as the assertion that she’s doing what she strictly as marketing gimmick. If so, she’s one heckuva an actress (which you would agree she isn’t if you saw “The Big Picture” video).

The last figures I read indicated that she’s only sold about 16 million records since 1990. Not stellar by any means. If the record company “created” her and her image, then they obviously don’t know much about what makes money and what doesn’t. Look at Britney Spears. No discernible talent and yet she’s sold more records with her first two records as Tori did with 10 or more. Now THAT’S marketing.

You can’t swing a dead cat w/o seeing Miss Spears. You could swing 1000 dead cats and miss Tori completely.

If RickJay thinks Tori is a fake or is manufactured, he should at least back up his statements.

I think she is what she appears to be. Weird, but genuine.

I agree. In fact, if anyone who thinks it’s an act will recall her first album, where she was “packaged” as a rocker chick, maybe they’ll realize that who she is now is more likely to be closer to the real Tori.

I don’t see how people think it’s an act. As you pointed out, it’s not like she’s making money, hand over fist.

Sorry for not responding earlier but I sometimes go weeks without checking MPSIMS.

I did not use the word “fake,” and I remind you that attributing false quotes to other users is a violation of board rules.

Nutty Bunny:

Yes, actually, she is.

Tori Amos has sold over TEN MILLION CDs. She’s also been packing the concert tours for ten years. I don’t know how much money you have to make to say it’s hand over first, but I’m confident she’s way above the line.

Don’t get your panties in a bunch, Chief. That was not in any way, shape or form a false quote. The “false quote” rule, as I’m given to understand it, applies to the use of quote tags, not to placing a single word in quotation marks to indicate an interpretation of the intended meaning. In any case, you may not have used the word fake outright, but you DID use the word manufacturedMr. Blue Sky’s interpretation of your meaning was perfectly valid, as far as I can tell.

Why is Liz Phairr popping up as an ad?! In a Tori thread?

I like Tori Amos, but she is whacked out. It does seem sincere, though.

The key to enjoying her music is to lose any hope of a coherent narrative: her stuff is the aural equivalent of an impressionist painting.

Her studio work is impeccable, but live, ick. Sloppy.

I wouldn’t say that Tori’s image is “fake,” but it’s definitely contrived and otherwise affected. I mean, COME ON, guys - Tori comes across like Michael Jackson minus the little boys in interviews, often answering questions like, “What are your musical influences?” with “The fairies and cornflake gumdrops speak to me in dulcet tones of graceful barn swallows” before doing a little kooky hand motion or something. Tori’s no fraud - I’m sure that deep down, she’s a bit eccentric - but she’s definitely affected and exagerrated the “kookiness” to the point of unreality and caricature in order to carve out her niche as the “spiritual weirdo mama” of the contemporary music market. Let’s not forget that at the end of the day, Tori is a multibillionaire who lives in a mansion with black servants.

I mean, come on - how mystical and spiritual can the woman who was once in Y Kant Tori Read really be?

10 million records sold for 8 releases. That would make each approximately platinum (although a quick search of the RIAA database shows no gold or platinum discs). Good. Not great compared to Britney Spears whose first two albums sold over 25 million. Tori tends to play much smaller venues than the illustrious Ms. Spears. And since when did big sales = manufactured?

Like I said, if I were a record company exec and I wanted to manufacture a money making performer, I’d like to think I’d be able to come up with something more financially palatable than some fairy-worshipping piano player from Baltimore. I wouldn’t want to wait 15 years to sell 10 million records when I could sell 25 million in two. I would want my creation to be all over the freakin’ place, not just playing small auditoriums. I would want you to not be able to swing a dead cat without hitting her. In between albums (and, thus, tours) Tori is essentially invisible. It seemed like Britney was a 24-7 business.

Weirdness? Yep, Tori’s got it in spades. I’ll take a flaky chick over some trailer trash skank who couldn’t sing her way out of wet paper bag without a 128-track studio and an army of sound engineers to help her (and even then, it’s marginal).

You say she’s manufactured, I call bullshit until I see proof otherwise.

Actually, last I heard, she was living in Ireland(?) on a farm with her husband and kid.

Y Kant Tori Read

I’ll give you this one. A closer examination of the songs, though, sets this pile apart from the majority of the hair-metal of the 80’s. Just barely.

Oh, RickJay? Thanks for finally responding. Obviously we disagree on this subject, but I was ready to write you off as a drive-by poster.

You don’t have to be as rich as Britney Spears to be rich. Geez - maybe you’re really raking it in, but my personal definition of “making a shitload of money” does not begin at Britney Spears. This isn’t about Britney Spears.

Attempting to define Tori Amos as anything other than a wildly successful recording artist is simply insane. She is EXTREMELY commercially successful, successful beyond the wildest dreams of most musicians, even most really, really talented ones. The standard for commercial success isn’t Britney Spears, unless you’re going to define most pop and rock stars, including many multi-millionaires, as not being commercially successful. That’s a silly standard. It’s akin to claiming that “Ghostbusters” wasn’t a successful movie because it didn’t make as much money as “Titanic,” or that Brad Pitt isn’t successful in acting because he hasn’t been as successful as Tom Hanks, or that Tim Duncan isn’t a great basketball player because he’s not as good as Michael Jordan was.

If you find it easy to manufacture recording artists who’d sell 10-12 million CDs and pack shows for years on end, you should be a record executive. All things Tori Amos have raked in, at a conservative estimate, $200,000,000; I don’t imagine Ms. Amos needs much of an agent to get a decent cut. 99.9% of music acts don’t have a tenth that success despite the best efforts of their producers. If it was that easy to sell millions of albums and rake in millions of dollars in concert and merchandise sales, everyone would do it. She averages over a million sales per CD over the course of a ten-year run with a CD release about every eighteen to twenty months. Five of her original studio albums plus her compilation CD have been in the Billboard Top 10. You do realize how phenomenally successful that is, right?

VCO3 nailed it in one. You seem to be creating a false dilemma, where a musical act must either be pure and un-manufactured, or else is just mindless crap like Britney Spears or hair metal. In fact, it’s quite possible for someone to simultaneously be a talented artist AND have a highly polished and spun public image.

I’m just asking for a further explanation of your stance. I don’t see where I’m creating drama where there is none. There’s plenty of room on the musical spectrum for all kinds of talent - real or imagined, manufactured or legit.

I just find it extremely difficult, if not impossible to believe Tori is anything other than what you see. Yes, she has image. Everybody has an image. Even artists who don’t. Hell, NOT having an image is an image.

Maybe all the success has gone to her head. Maybe she believes she has to continue doing whatever it is she does to maintain her success. Success can do weird things to people. Just look at the obvious - Elvis and Michael Jackson.

Whatever image you see, I believe, is hers and hers alone and not some record company exec (most of whom wouldn’t know talent if it stabbed them in the eye).

Anyways, I don’t think we’re going to get any further on this subject. We can agree to disagree.

I agree. A lot of her songs are no more than a bunch of seemingly unrelated phrases. Trying to figure what they’re supposed to mean can cause your head to explode.

Most of her live cover songs sound alike. It’s like she’s thinking, “How slow can I sing this and still make it recognizable?”

Her version of “Losing My Religion” seems to go on for months.

I expect she’s done a lot of interesting drugs since then, and that makes some people kinda spiritual, so who knows? :wink:
I’m sure she’s legitimately weird, but I think she also wants to be seen as weird. So who knows if there’s a separation between the perception and the reality, and where it is if it exists. It’s hard to get a read on her songs, and it’s hard to get a read on her.